House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) quietly revealed on Tuesday that she’s willing to compromise on the hotly-debated coronavirus relief bill in order to come to an agreement with GOP leaders.
After months of stalling in an attempt to shoehorn in a slew of Democrat pet projects into the bill, Pelosi said in an interview with Politico that she’s “willing to cut our bill in half to meet the needs right now.”
“We have to try to come to that agreement now,” Pelosi said. “We’re willing to cut our bill in half to meet the needs right now. We’ll take it up again in January. We’ll see them again in January. But for now, we can cut the bill in half.”
Pelosi did not elaborate on which figure she’s willing to cut in half. Pelosi’s HEROES Act, passed in May, proposed a $3.4 trillion spending package which was immediately struck down by the GOP-led Senate.
After weeks of negotiations, Democrats offered to reduce the bill by $1 trillion to $2.4 trillion in total. Republicans again rejected the proposal. It is unclear if this is the figure Pelosi is willing to cut by half in order to sign a deal.
The House left D.C. last week for a recess which would push further progress on the bill into September — though Pelosi has scheduled an “urgent hearing” on August 24th to grill Postmaster General Louis DeJoy about changes to the US Postal Service that Democrats believe are part of a plot to steal the election.
Donald Trump’s recently issued set of executive orders implementing emergency economic relief measures undercut Pelosi’s leverage over the relief package negotiations, and her continued stonewalling over the package is not popular with American voters.
It appears that Pelosi may be rethinking her formerly steadfast position — though only time will tell if she’ll put her money where her mouth is.